tag: help

Posted by in simple living

support a local farm!

happy pigs are tastier

jen from starshaped press recently wrote to tell me about their favorite local farm and how badly they are struggling to keep their small family pig farm afloat amidst large corporate farms with healthy government subsidies. even though i don’t eat meat, i will always support the local, sustainable farm! they are our biggest hope for the future. in efforts to help, jen has created this cute pig poster as a way to raise money for the farm and to help them stay in business. all $10 from the sale of this print will go directly to the farm! (and i’m sure they will accept donations as well!)

a little more about c & d farm:

c & d family farms is a small animal welfare approved family farm dedicated to raising hogs in their natural environment. their happy hogs are raised on pasture and in wooded areas where they can root and play and be hogs. they graze on pasture designed for them or eat leaves, weeds, berries and acorns from their large wooded pens. hogs are very social animals and are kept in droves so they can socialize and prosper.

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help japan

March 16, 2011

help japan
 
it is so wonderful to see the handmade community pull together to help the relief efforts in japan after it’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. click over to each of these items to learn more about how you can help the effort. also, please share any other relief efforts you know of in the comments section, so that we can all partake in helping. love and light to you, dear japan!

clockwise: help japan, i helped japan, red circle organic tee, help japan- rising sun soap, help print, japan disaster relief bracelet,

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Posted by in indie biz

meylah

today i’m going to introduce to you a truly inspiring blog and business, meylah.  meylah works to bring creative entrepreneurs closer through creativity by helping them connect, learn and succeed. they are devoted to building an online creative community for individuals to learn, share and support each other’s business growth and works hard to equip the entrepreneur with the necessary skills they need to succeed.  with easy to read and very informational articles, meylah is totally rocking the online creative biz movement.  you’ll find tons of help for your small business and lots of new tips and tricks along the way. i encourage you to explore her world today, and especially read a few of my favorite articles:

how to create an ad for your business

how to brand your twitter profile

how to package your product

opening your first flickr group

store policies – six key topics to cover

3 ways to sell to busy buyers

enjoy exploring and feel free to share with us some of your favorite articles!

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Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

today we’re going to talk about two subjects not necessarily related (hopefully!): filling custom orders and how to handle unhappy (or rude, wacky or otherwise offensive) customers.

you make it happen

let’s begin with the first subject: filling custom orders.  of course, you can do this right from the comfort of your own shop, but also through a service etsy calls alchemy.  alchemy is a space on etsy where buyers can post requests for custom goods, and sellers then bid on the opportunity to turn that idea into a real item.  personally, i’ve never ventured into the land of alchemy, but i’ve heard good things.  do you have any experience? {for more on alchemy specifically, read this article on building a better alchemy listing}.

follow your bliss

i love doing custom orders. nothing get’s me more excited than to get inspired by someone else, and make something just for them.  regardless on whether you’re using alchemy or making a custom listing in your shop, custom orders do come with a few questions and policies that you should consider before you begin.

let the sunshine in

first, you need to decide on how to charge your customer.  some charge 100% up front and others charge 50% down and 50% after approval of the finished product (before shipping).  if you charge 50% upfront you may want to specify that it is not refundable, in order to cover the costs of materials and your time.  here’s a great forum on what other sellers are charging as well as their how & why for doing it.

success

secondly, you need to decide on your refund policy for custom orders, specifically.  if it’s something you could resale in the future, you may be able to keep your existing refund policy.  however, if it’s something very specific, like a portrait, you need to let the customer know up front that once you begin, it is not refundable.

karma

now let’s talk about the unhappy, inconsiderate or otherwise unreasonable customer.  this could be in regards to a custom listing but applies to any off convo that gets your teeth to grinding!  some customers just aren’t the warm and fuzzy crafter like we all imagine.  as sellers, we must always put forth our best work.  even though difficult customers aren’t the norm, it’s nice to know that there are tons of help available to you from etsy & other great sellers!

etsy shop help

kindness and love

this article outlines how to turn a negative experience into a positive one, and also gives you some suggested responses to common issues.

*first things first, always contact your customer to acknowledge their order, thank them for it and let them know when it will ship.  making the buying experience personal from the beginning will always help put your customer at rest.

*if you do end up getting an upset customer, try to remain calm and ever so professional.  even if they are being uncooperative and unfair, it’s in your best interest to make the outcome a positive one.  so, seek help and take a deep breath (maybe even some yoga?) before you begin typing.  be understanding, kind, and offer as many solutions to the situation as possible.

*try your best to avoid getting defensive. it can be really easy to try to defend your work (or should i say 2nd child?), but placing blame or showing impatience won’t help the unpleasant situation get resolved.  try to avoid any negative, demeaning, or accusatory language like, ‘it’s not my fault’, ‘you must have’ or ‘did you not read my policies’.

random acts of kindness

*make right any mistakes you make.  wether it’s slower than promised shipping or not your tidiest work, leave the customer feeling like you care.  offer upgrades on shipping or shipping refunds, future discounts or in the most extreme cases, refunds for the product. having a clear and thought-out refund policy clearly stated in your policies section can make these difficult situations much easier.

*finally, if you get a real stickler and despite your sweet tones, apologies and suggested solutions, it might be time to thank them and move on.  better to get on with your work then spend much valuable time on someone who is just not willing to cooperate.

going, going

finally, the lovely lucinda has created one of the most useful forums i’ve ever read! there are (currently) 94 pages of incredibly thought out & positive responses to potential buyers unhappy comments and conovs. she must have an incredible background in human resources because her answers to these issues are ever so polite, thoughtful and productive towards a solution.

you can be who ever you want to be

as a few examples, she answers questions such as,

“how will i know your xxx won’t fall apart?”, “did you know xxx sells this for a lot less than you?”, and “can you tell me where you get your resources online?”.

whew! these are sticky questions!  if you can’t find your answer within the forum already, she welcomes you to add your questions- and her response are definitely worthy of your read!

tell people

so that concludes this (kinda lengthy?) shop help post.  we would all love to hear you stories, experiences, thoughts & suggestions.  will you meet us in the comment section?

xoxo, bonnie

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